They Found a Boeing-Sized Tree on Shore. How Did It Get There?
On January 10, 1992, a huge cargo ship sailed somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It got caught in a strong storm, its waves battered the ship frightfully, and some of its containers fell into the water. One of them opened and released some 29,000 rubber toys. They were yellow ducks, frogs, and blue turtles.
From that moment, their journey of almost 20,000 miles across the world’s oceans began. This enormous number of toys survived many years of storms, salt water, encounters with marine animals, and countless days under the scorching sun. The ducks even ventured into the icy waters of the Arctic and swam through the spot where the Titanic sank. Some of the toys settled in Hawaii and some went to the shores of England.
Many people watched their journey all this time. Oceanologists studied ocean currents with the help of this migrating flock of rubber duckies. People authored books about these ducks. Each toy is an artifact, and somebody managed to find at least one of them. One frog washed up on the coast of England, and other toys were found in the ocean. People are looking for them and selling them for thousands of dollars. Until now, these wanderers are floating somewhere out there. And you may find one of them sometime. [rubber duck sfx] I keep mine close by.
You know what ammonite is? It’s kind of a big ancient seashell with a spiral on its back. So, the coast of Washington hides many fossils of these animals. One day, a group of scientists went there to find these prehistoric things. But instead, they found a massive bone of an unknown dinosaur. The problem was that the fossil was stuck in a coastal rock. Paleontologists dragged a stone saw to get the find. They extracted the bone and discovered it belonged to an animal that lived about 80 million years ago. It was a theropod — a predatory dinosaur that moved on two legs. T. rex and velociraptors belonged to this species. It’s not proven exactly who this bone belonged to, but researchers say the descendants of these dinosaurs are modern birds.
In 2008, on the shore of Brighton Beach, people discovered probably one of the most unusual things that have ever been thrown on the shore. This was a big 8-foot Lego man. He was whole and looked great! It’s unknown how long he stayed in the ocean and ended up here. The discovery attracted the attention of locals and the district administration. The Lego man looked so cool on the beach that people at the city hall decided to leave him there. Nobody knows the true story of this giant toy. Some say that Lego man arrived from Denmark. There’s a Legoland theme park; maybe the toy came straight from there. Others are sure that it fell from some passing ship. (See rubber duckies.) But of course, there’s a high probability that all this is part of a PR campaign. Even if it’s not, it’s still a great ad.
In 2010, locals found a giant tree washed up on the beach on the shore of La Push, Washington. Several people could fit inside its trunk. There’s enough room to squeeze in a bed, a table, a TV, and even throw a small party. And the height of the tree itself reached about 200 feet. This is almost the size of a Boeing passenger jet! There were a lot of discarded trees on the shore that day, but this giant was the king among them. High tides and fierce winds brought it ashore. Storms often occur in this region. During this time, rivers flowing through the area spill over the forest and dump large trees. Also, near the beach, there are high slopes with tropical forests. At high tide, the water washes away the trees and brings them to the shore. Now, they didn’t know the exact type of tree. But it was like the Sitka spruce, red cedar, and Douglas fir.
In 2020 a giant squid was found on the shore of a South African beach. Such finds are rare because giant squids live in deep, dark waters. The beached sea creature was almost 14 feet long. This is more than the size of a passenger car. Some of these individuals can reach the size of buses. It’s not surprising that sailors called these monsters Kraken in the distant past. They have enormous tentacles, beak-like mouths, and the most giant eyes in the animal world. One such eye can be the size of a football.
In 2021, a family found an old, closed bottle on a beach in Hawaii. And of course, there was a message written 37 years ago inside! The letter was written in English. Then it turned out that school students at one Japanese school wrote this message. Back in 1984, the school released about 450 bottles into the ocean to study ocean currents. The letter had an address with a request to give it back. Now, about 50 bottles have been returned to that school in Japan. But this message found on the shore of Hawaii is the first since 2002.
Imagine you’re walking along the shore and suddenly see something strange in the distance. It looks like a giant starfish with large dark green tentacles. The center of this star has a strange red glow. The object is fenced with tape. There are people in protective suits around. It happened in May 2022 on Bondi Beach, Australia. On that day, journalists and many tourists came to the shore to find out that the unknown creature was just a sculpture made as an ad for one famous American TV series.
In England, a 180-million-year-old fossil was found on Charmouth Beach. This was one of the oldest finds in the world. And this was not just a bone, but almost the whole skeleton of a huge underwater lizard, ichthyosaurus [ik·thee·uh·saw·ruhs]. Let’s just call him “Icky”. The size of this fossil was 40 feet long. It’s practically the length of a small bus. The lizard’s head alone was 7 feet—that’s the average height of a professional basketball player, who aren’t fossils. Icky was not only one of the oldest but also one of the most giant ancient skeletons ever discovered by people. Just imagine how it swam in the seas and oceans and terrified all the sea creatures 180 million years ago. Um, no, thanks.
On February 16, 2020, locals found a large cargo ship stuck on a rocky shore off the coast of an Irish village. It was old, rusty, with holes in the body and rotten parts. Kinda like me. The day before, it wasn’t here. There was nothing valuable or exciting on board, just some old barrels of fuel. People didn’t find any records or logs. Who owned the ship? Who was the captain? Where was the whole crew? No one had the answers to these questions. Soon the press wrote about the ship, and someone called the village administration and introduced themselves as the owner. That person didn’t supply any evidence and hung up. Of course, no one took the ship. But after a while, people began to reveal the story of this mysterious vessel.
It’s called Alta. 5 months before the final stop on the coast of Ireland, it was seen thousands of miles away, in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. That day, the big ship MS Protector was sailing through calm waters and spotted Alta. The MS Protector crew tried to contact it, but no one answered. Even then, the vessel was empty. It was a phantom ship. It’s still unknown how it could cover the distance across the Atlantic and surf to the coast of Ireland. Maybe it’s just luck. It’s also notable that no one else has seen the ship all this time. It just calmly sailed huge distances surviving storms.
But then added information appeared. Alta had changed several captains and flags. It was used by smugglers for illegal purposes. It visited the shores of Africa and Greece. One day, several members of the Alta crew sent a distress signal. They ran out of food and water supplies. There was a breakdown inside the engine. People were rescued, and the ship remained wandering in the ocean. The owner of the boat was never found.